This interview with Deborah Bial, president of the Posse Foundation, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. The Posse Foundation recruits and trains students from public high schools to form teams to help them succeed in college.
Q. Were you in leadership roles as a kid?
A. I was a shy kid. There was nothing remarkable about me growing up. I grew up in Teaneck, N.J., in a white house with red shutters and a white picket fence. I walked to school. My dad played in the New York Philharmonic for 38 years — bassoon and contrabassoon — and my mom did P.R. at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
In your leadership style today, do you see strands of your parents’ influence?
The most important thing is that my parents were very inclusive. Our voice was always important, and they always asked my sister and me what we thought. They respected us. If we were unhappy about something, they would listen and respond, and even change their approach or views.
Did you have ideas about your career path going into college?
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